I find it hard to believe that it’s November and Thanksgiving is a few weeks away. As we enter the Holiday Season I am thankful for the opportunities J and I have been offered. Getting a start in the cattle business is hard for young people. J and I were blessed with support and guidance from his family to “come home”.
There are many things that work together to build a successful rancher or farmer. Here are a few I think are important:
Attitude. The will to work hard, be confident in your capabilities and decision making, be determined and willing to take calculated risks. Be willing to accept that many days you have no idea what the day has in store for you. Patience is essential.
Knowledge. One needs to have a fundamental knowledge of the industry they are in (cattle, grains, grass etc.), have a solid business understanding and know how their individual operation works. Keep learning and educating yourself; knowledge is powerful.
Business. Farms and Ranches are business, just like the ones we see in town. It’s important to reinvest in our operations and live within our means. Budgets need to balance, debts need to be paid, improvements and upgrades need to be considered and we need to save for the future.
Communication. The most important communication happens at the kitchen table between family members. Business decisions are discussed, plans are made and evaluations are hashed out.
Sometimes I am amazed at the amount of people J talks to. Neighbors, feed, seed and pharmaceutical representatives/salesman, hay girders, parts men, the gas/diesel company, seed stock producers and the list goes on and on.
An open mind. Ranches and Farms are frequently rich in family tradition. We learn from our parents and grandparents. We draw off of their experience. It is also important to be flexible towards change. Technology, marketing strategies and feed resources are a few things that change over time.
Stress Management. Agriculture is a dynamic business. It’s important to maintain a long term viewpoint and ask for help or advise when needed. Attempt to live a balanced lifestyle, get of the farm for a few days, be social and laugh!
Attitude, knowledge, business sense, communication, open mindedness and stress management are all keys to success in life and on the ranch or farm. Remember to be grateful for the support, experience and advice you get from parents, friends, neighbors and professionals.
What words of wisdom do you have to share?